by Jeff Siegel
The news that Barack Obama picked Joe Biden as his running mate is not surprising — one corporate Democrat turning to another. The news is that so many people see Biden as so different from Obama.
You’ll hear words like experienced and world-wise and mature, in contrast to Obama’s one-term resumé. You’ll especially hear that Biden is a foreign policy genius. Or, as The New York Times put it: “Mr. Obama’s choice of Mr. Biden suggested some of the weaknesses the Obama campaign is trying to address.”
Sigh. Biden is a five-term senator from Delaware who has never served in the military and has been on the government payroll for most of his working life. What’s so different about that? Hell, that sounds like Vice President Dick Cheney. And, for what it’s worth, as near as I can tell, after going through the voting records and ratings compiled by The National Journal, Biden may actually be more liberal than Obama.
Which is to say each is about as liberal as a Chuck Percy Republican (if any still existed). And Biden’s expertise in foreign policy? Biden voted to support the Iraq War, and then changed his mind.
Which puts him in good company with Obama, who voted against the war and then changed his mind. Or, as Salon so deftly noted when Biden ran for president last year:
Biden, along with his fellow Sens. Clinton, Edwards and Chris Dodd, voted for the 2002 resolution permitting Bush to launch the war. During a 2005 interview with me, Biden recanted his vote, saying, "I never figured on the absolute incompetence of the administration ... If I knew Cheney and Rumsfeld so wholly possessed the president's attention, I never would have voted for that."
If that’s what experience does for you, give me Jimmy Carter. I am not a five-term member of the Senate who is reputed to be a foreign policy genius, but even I knew better than to trust the White House. And the truly scary thing about that quote? That the Iraq War was a good idea that was ruined by the Bushies. Note to Joe Biden: The Iraq War was a lousy idea then and it’s still a lousy idea. It accomplished nothing, save to rile up radical Arabs, kill U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians, and give George Bush a chance to look pompous. And Bush already looks pompous enough.
And people wonder why I’ve given up the Democrats.
For more background on the 2008 campaign, please see these archival posts:
(The photo of Sen. Joe Biden shows him at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2005. The photo is © copyright the World Economic Forum and is by photographer Remy Steinegger. However, the World Economic Forum offers this photo for use through Flickr, using a Creative Commons License.)
Add to Technorati Favorites
Subscribe in a reader
by Jeff Siegel